World of Warcraft (WoW) marks Blizzard's entrance into the genre of massively-multilayer online role playing games (MMORPGs). It takes place in the same universe as Blizzard's Warcraft real-time strategy games, approximately 4 years after the end of Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne.
To date, the game consists of the original release and four expansions:
- 2004 - World of Warcraft (vanilla WoW)
- 2007 - The Burning Crusade (BC)
- 2008 - Wrath of the Lich King (Wrath, WotLK)
- 2010 - Cataclysm (Cata)
- 2012 - Mists of Pandaria (MoP)
Players must choose between the opposing factions of the Alliance or the Horde. Characters from the opposing factions can perform rudimentary communication (most often just "emotes"), but only members of the same faction can speak, mail, group, and join guilds.
Basic game play consists of choosing a race/class combination to fill the role of a healer, damage dealer, or damage taker (also know as a 'tank'). Progression is made through performing missions (known in-game as quests), killing enemies, and participating in player-versus-player (PvP) combat. End-game activities typically center around large-scale PvP combat in battlegrounds, large-scale dungeon runs (known in-game as 'raids'), or playing the game to accomplish personal goals such as gaining achievements or crafting rare items.
Popular (and accepted) types of questions for this tag include:
- How can I maximize damage or healing with my character?
- What is the best way to defeat a boss?
- How do I finish this quest?
- What kind of gear should I be trying to get?
- What is the story behind this particular dungeon?
- What changes occurred to the game in the latest expansion?
- What in-game add-ons can I use to make certain activities easier?